What Is A Bad Person?

Here Are A Few Examples Of Conduct Where You Can Decide If The Individual Involved Is Or Is Not A Bad Person

I’m still amazed by Hillary Clinton’s unfathomable charge that half of her opponent’s supporters were in a “basket of deplorables.” What the heck was she thinking? Was she thinking at all?

But ill-advised as it was, her comment made me consider how I would define a bad person.

Is a bad person someone who

  • personally does bad things or practices racism? or
  • admires other people who do bad things or who are racists? or
  • takes pleasure in pain being inflicted on innocent people? or
  • admires other people who want to inflict pain on innocent people? or
  • strongly supports a system or policy that inflicts pain on innocent people? or
  • admires other people who strongly support a system or policy that inflicts pain on innocent people?

Given the rancor that floats around this country like the lingering smell from a nearby slaughterhouse, I thought I would pose a series of questions to you as a way of exploring the question of: What Is A Bad Person?

Take The Test

I’ll describe a series of situations and ask if you think the individual in question is a bad person. Please record your total number of “Yeses” and “Noes.”

  • You’re on vacation in Berlin and you have a chat with an old man in the park. After a few minutes he says: “You don’t understand the German people. Hitler did great things. He was a great man. If Hitler were alive today I would vote for him to lead Germany again.”

Is he a bad person?

  • And he goes on to say: “Hitler was right to get rid of the Jews. They deserved everything they got.”

Now is he a bad person?

  • You come home and go to a barbecue at a friend’s house. Some of his son’s friends are there and you mention to one of them that you just got back from a vacation in Germany.
  • “Cool,” he says. “Did you visit Hitler’s place, the one in the mountains?” Then he leans forward, and almost in a whisper says, “You know he understood how things should be done. I wish we had a guy like Hitler running this country today.”

Is he a bad person?

  • You politely disengage yourself and head for the platter of ribs. You notice that another of the young men at the party has a Confederate flag patch on his denim jacket. He catches you looking at it, taps it and says, “My great, great something grandfather was a colonel in the Confederate Army. He was a hero. I fly a Confederate flag over my house every day.”

Is he a bad person?

  • The young man continues: “I wish the South had won the Civil War.”

Is he a bad person?

  • Finally he says, “You know, if the South had won the Civil War we wouldn’t have all these problems with black people today. They’d know their place then.”

Is he a bad person?

  • You’re having lunch at work a few days later and you overhear one of the vice presidents telling one of the managers: “It looks like they’re finally going to repeal Obamacare. I’m sick of paying the bills for those losers. They need to get a job. If they’re too lazy or too stupid to be able to buy their own health insurance and they get sick, then they’re getting just what they deserve. Let them die. That’s what I say.”

Is he a bad person?

  • The same conversation as that above but instead of being a vice president at your company, the person speaking is the minister at your church.

Is he a bad person?

  • You’re watching the news and a reporter is interviewing people leaving a “Town Hall” meeting. He asks what they think about a current news story where a young woman who was in her final year of UCLA Medical School was taken into custody by ICE and deported because her parents illegally brought her into the United States from Mexico twenty-five years ago when she was two years old.
  • One of the women tells the reporter: “She’s a criminal just like the rest of the illegals. She has no right to be in my country. I’m glad they threw her out.”

Is she a bad person?

If you answered “No” to three or more of those questions, then my final question is:

Are you a bad person?

–David Grace (www.DavidGraceAuthor.com)

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David Grace

David Grace

Graduate of Stanford University & U.C. Berkeley Law School. Author of 16 novels and over 400 Medium columns on Economics, Politics, Law, Humor & Satire.